Updated Jun 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

New York enacts bills to protect abortion providers, patients from red state bans

Picture of Kathy Hochul
Photo: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed into law a series of abortion bills Monday that protect providers, as well as patients coming from out-of-state seeking to access the procedure, following strict restrictions enacted by some red states.

Driving the news: "My friends the sky is literally on the verge of falling in the next week or two and that’s why we are here today," Hochul said before signing the bills, referring to the upcoming Supreme Court decision that might overturn Roe v. Wade and other precedents that protect abortion access on the federal level.

  • "Make no mistake, this is not just an attack on reproductive health and freedom, it's an attack on the very values that make New York what it is, and that's why with the stroke of a pen I will say: Not here. Not in New York. Not ever."

The big picture: Blue states are moving to protect abortion rights as red states continue to enact restrictive laws, ahead of the court's ruling.

  • New York follows Connecticut and Washington state in enacting laws that respond to abortion bans in red states that are enforced by civil action.

Details: Hochul signed six bills into law, most of which will take effect immediately.

  • S. 9039A makes it a right to sue a person who takes action to stop someone from accessing health care that is protected under state law, such as abortion.
  • S. 9077A protects abortion providers in New York from being extradited to other states that ban the procedure. It also bars state law enforcement from cooperating with out-of-state probes investigating abortions considered legal in New York.
  • S. 9079B prohibits "professional misconduct charges" against New York providers who perform an abortion on a patient that comes from a state where the procedure is banned.
  • S. 9080B bars medical malpractice insurance companies from "taking any adverse action" against an abortion provider who performed the procedure on an out-of-state patient.
  • S. 9384A includes abortion providers in New York's "address confidentiality program," allowing for them to obscure their addresses for safety reasons.
  • S. 470 establishes a task force to examine "the unmet health and resource needs facing pregnant women in New York," as well as the impact of crisis pregnancy centers, which are organizations that look like abortion clinics and aim to persuade pregnant people from having the procedure.

Between the lines: If Roe is overturned, the number of women traveling from other states to New York for abortion care is expected to increase from 190,000 to 210,000, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights.

Don't forget: New York is already one of the 16 states that have codified abortion rights into their state laws.

Go deeper